Amazon Prime now includes groceries with free 2-hour delivery for more than 100 million US customers. Amazon made Amazon Fresh benefits a part of the Amazon Prime subscription model just in time for November and December holiday shopping. Where Black Friday and Cyber Monday are often wins for Amazon, they now clearly also hope to get a larger share of the pie when it comes to food shopping and delivery around the country.
What is Amazon Fresh?
Amazon rolled out Amazon Fresh gradually in certain cities starting in 2007. With a focus on Seattle-based neighborhoods, the company tested and expanded grocery delivery over the years. Amazon acquired Whole Foods in 2017 resulting in more rapid growth to capitalize on the partnership. Most recently, and until October 29, 2019, the cost was $14.99 a month on top of customers’ Amazon Prime subscriptions. Amazon Fresh is currently available for customers in more than 2,000 cities across the US. This will also likely continue to expand.
Amazon Fresh is still available at an add-on cost of £3.99 to Prime subscriptions in the UK. France and Japan also recently launched Amazon Fresh as an optional add-on, for a fee.
Free delivery in 2019
Amazon Fresh is not available everywhere (…yet). Also, orders must meet a certain threshold to qualify for free delivery. The minimum order is $35 in most places. In some cities, for example New York City, Amazon set the minimum at $50. The free delivery addition is also not available to everyone immediately. Existing customers who already pay for the subscription grocery service will receive the new pricing immediately. Current Amazon Prime subscribers not already using Amazon Fresh must register their interest and stand by for an invitation.
“Free delivery is in high demand,” says the Amazon Fresh website. “Request an invite and we’ll notify you when you when you can start shopping Fresh.”
What’s the difference between Prime Pantry and Amazon Fresh?
As Amazon continues to expand its Prime offerings, customers and vendors should note that Amazon Fresh is very different from Prime Pantry. On the regular Amazon website, customers can shop low-priced Prime Pantry items from retail and third-party sellers with coupons and benefits much like any other Amazon Prime item. These items are shelf-stable and require no refrigeration. They are shipped with Prime one-day or two-day delivery.
Amazon Fresh includes a range of products direct from Amazon and grocery partners, such as Whole Foods. These items include meat, dairy and fresh produce and can be delivered within hours, rather than days. More differences and history are outlined here.
For brands, it is important to note that as of March 2019, both Amazon Fresh and Prime Pantry products can be promoted using Sponsored Products.
Amazon continually expanding Prime services
The latest move to make Amazon Fresh delivery free and expand on grocery services positions Amazon better against competitors. Walmart offers a grocery delivery service for $12.99 a month, for example. The Prime subscription continues to grow and expand. It now incorporates a vast range of services such as Prime Video, Prime Music, Twitch, Amazon Music Unlimited, Prime Wardrobe, and more. Adding Amazon Fresh to the list of Prime offerings will potentially be very beneficial to Amazon now and in the future.